Designated Read: Realignment ruminations
• To the wiggling and dancing of conferences: The dashing Andy Staples has some lengthy ruminations up on college football realignment. The latest news on that front: The Mountain West and Conference USA are apparently considering some sort of merger. In a less well-sourced rumor, so are the Big 12 and Big East.
• Sure do like Pumpkin, Cotton: Pepper Brooks would be shocked to learn another BCS bowl might be steeped in corruption. (Hint: It's exactly the one you're thinking of.)
• Trouble in Carolina, I: In response to the NCAA's notice of allegations, UNC will vacate two years' worth of victories, cut scholarships, pay a fine and self-impose probation. Seeing as the Heels had a runner for an agent employed as a coach, that still might not be enough. We'll know more after the school's October appearance before the COI.
• Trouble in Carolina, II: That flap from last summer about Gamecocks football players living on ludicrously reduced rates at a Columbia hotel? The NCAA, in a notice of allegations to South Carolina, is characterizing that whole affair as $55,000 in impermissible benefits. The NOA document itself is available for perusal on the university website. With the notice just being handed down, this one's a long way from over. But look for some stern chin-waggling from the NCAA, particularly given how it punished Boise State for facilitating team slumber parties during summer workouts.
• Giveth, taketh: Stanford star Shayne Skov's left knee injury will sideline him for the remainder of 2011. E.J. Manuel's shoulder is day-to-day, while the excellently-named Scooter Haggins will miss a few weeks at least for Florida State with a broken hand. Mississippi State RB Nick Griffin returns to action this week. UCLA OL Sean Sheller will undergo season-ending surgery on his broken arm, as will Texas' Garrett Gilbert on his bum shoulder. Georgia's Isaiah Crowell has re-injured his ribs but isn't expected to miss any playing time. And Michigan State OT Skyler Burkland, ever the overachiever, is done for the season thanks to an ankle that's both broken and dislocated.
• Roster dance! Iowa's Bruce Davis has left the Hawkeyes. And while DNA tests in the LSU barfight case have proven inconclusive, there's still no timetable for the return of Jordan Jefferson or Josh Johns.
• Quote of the day, I: "Notre Dame should join the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin, but insist it doesn't change its name. There's no reason why not." -- Jason Kirk
• Quote of the day, II: "Instead of booing Joe Bauserman, why don't Ohio State fans boo the coach who knowingly played ineligible players the entire 2010 season?" -- Todd Jones
• Quote of the day, III: "I fear the upper decks might not hold it." -- Les Miles, when asked if beer could be served in Death Valley (via Scott Rabalais) • Tuesday whimsy: Introducing the SunBeast conference. Where's the toughest place to schedule football games? We already know JMU can compete in the ACC, amirite, Virginia Tech? This NYT feature on which college teams have the most fans is predictably flawed, but sorta entertaining. Arby's does Holy War spite-comedy right. Les Miles makes words. USC does not care for your "reporting," reporters.